Another year has passed and we have all somehow avoided the inevitable zombie apocalypse. In any case, the time has come where I take a look back at the games that stuck with me in 2014.
10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Color me surprised. I wasn’t expecting to like another Call of Duty game, especially after the awfulness of Call of Duty: Ghosts. In any case, Advanced Warfare was a step in the right direction and I’ve already detailed my praise of the game in my review. So for now, I’ll just say I cannot wait to join the fight against the exo-zombie horde as soon as the DLC for Advanced Warfare drops.
9. Child of Light
It’s been a long time since I had a chance to play an RPG and I was delighted to play this little gem. Although it has all of the hallmarks of an indie game, Child of Light was developed by an in-house studio within the publishing giant Ubisoft. Child of Light was easily one of the prettiest games that came out last year, but what made it stand out was the writers’ total adherence to verse. Every piece of dialogue and text were written in rhyming couplets. Granted, if you aren’t particularly fond of poetry, the rhyming will most likely begin to annoy you throughout the entire game. I, however, loved it.
8. Hyrule Warriors
My oh my, Hyrule Warriors is a fun game. I fully admit that there isn’t a lot to the game itself, but there’s just something about running around as a characters from The Legend of Zelda and defeating hordes upon hordes of monsters. Honestly, Hyrule Warriors is my favorite entry into the Warriors series purely because of the Zelda flourishes. The story isn’t bad and the addition of boss monsters that you have to defeat as though you’re playing a Zelda game make Hyrule Warriors one of the most fun experiences I’ve had all year.
Here’s a game that really should have made a bigger splash than it did. Although I never got around to actually writing a review for Transistor, it was one of the most engaging experiences I’ve had in a game. SuperGiant Games was already known for the fantastic isometric action game Bastion. Although Transistor shares a lot in common with it’s predecessor, it expands upon the groundwork that Bastion laid. Unfortunately, Transistor only came out for PC, Mac, and PS4, which is honestly a shame because more people should play it. Because man, that ending.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like everything about this game. This is the only game on this list that adopts the “Metroidvania” style, and thus Strider has a special place in my heart. This is because throughout the game, you as the titular Strider Hiryu, can go anywhere at anytime. However, you’ll come across roadblocks that can only be surmounted by finding a new ability that’ll allow you to bypass said roadblock. This style of game play was made popular by the seminal Super Nintendo classic Super Metroid, a.k.a my favorite game of all time, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (another one of my favorites). However, Strider does have a few shortcomings here and there. For instance, it feels fairly short and way too easy. But in any case, it’s still a fantastic game.
5. Mario Kart 8
I didn’t think I’d ever like playing a Mario Kart game since Mario Kart 64. But boy, did I figure out I was wrong as soon as I started my first race. Seeing Mario and the gang finally in 1080p and 60 frames per second was absolutely mesmerizing. Every course is beautifully rendered and everything about the game just feels perfect. The best part about it was that there are a ton of characters, karts, and other things to unlock. Not to mention that since this Mario Kart to has a stable internet infrastructure behind it, there are DLC packs available for the first time.
4. Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 came out late in 2014, it was still by far one of the best shooters to come out all year. Thankfully, Far Cry 4 has a protagonist that isn’t unbearable like that of Far Cry 3. Although, Far Cry used to straddle the line between serious and comedy, Far Cry 4 feels like the first time it’s been done correctly. The story of the game revolves around a country caught in a civil war and yet you, as the protagonist Ajay Ghale, can still find time to go on crazy acid trips and get attacked by honey badgers. The best scenes from the game, however, come in the form of the main antagonist, Pagan Min. A man who is both ridiculously charismatic and insane, Pagan Min immediately steals any scene he’s present for. This is definitely the a game worth sinking your time into.
3. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
This had to be the biggest surprise of the entire year. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has got to be one of the greatest licensed games to have ever come out. Based on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, more specifically The Silmarillion, Shadow of Mordor took a lot of queues from other franchises and made it all work. However, it’s the Nemesis system that puts Shadow of Mordor on the map. I won’t go into detail about the Nemesis system here as I explained it a bit more in depth in my backlog post. The fact of the matter is, if you own a gaming PC, a PS4, or a Xbox One, then be sure to pick this game up.
2. Smash Bros WiiU/3DS
Anyone who knows me would automatically assume that this would be my favorite game of the year. And even though it came darn close, it missed the top spot by just a smidge. What can I say about Smash Bros 4? It’s, in my opinion, the best game in the series so far. Boasting the largest cast of characters with much of the veteran characters from previous titles returning and a handful of newbies entering the fray, Smash Bros 4 is jam packed with content. More music, stages, trophies, activities, you name it. Smash Bros 4 is the one game I play just about everyday, I actually lose more sleep over it than I did with Destiny. After all, you can actually play Smash Bros 4 online and it’s not absolutely horrible. It’s actually amazingly good. I have to reiterate though, Smash Bros 4 came very close to being my number one game of the year.
Before, I go into my favorite game of the year I just want to throw a shout out to some of the other games I dug this year.
inFAMOUS: Second Son
Who doesn’t want to be a superhero every now and then? Second Son gave us the opportunity to do exactly that. It gave us Delsin Rowe and it gave us a chance to just enjoy his powers.
The Evil Within
Let’s be honest, this game is such a mess. It’s a really big mess but man is it a lot of fun and genuinely creepy from time to time. Granted, it doesn’t make a lot of sense most of the time but hey, it was an interesting ride.
I hate/love this game so much. I played it everyday with my brother and our friends for a good while. I couldn’t get over the fact that it left a lot to be desired. But I couldn’t help but revel in the fun my brother, our friends, and I had.
1. Bayonetta 2
I knew right from the opening scene in this game that I was going to love every second of it. Bayonetta 2 improved on every shortcoming that the original game had, and made things ten times crazier. Bayonetta as a series has perfected the spectacle fighter genre and pushed it further than any other game before it has ever gone. What’s more is that every copy of Bayonetta 2 came with a copy of the original Bayonetta, so it was a real two-for-one deal. The one thing, however, that pushed Bayonetta 2 ahead of it’s competition. And that one thing was the inclusion of costumes based on iconic Nintendo characters. You can don Link’s tunic complete with Hylian Shield and Master Sword, Peach and Daisy’s dresses, and a uniform that pays homage to Fox McCloud that comes with mini R-wings that attach to Bayonetta’s hands and feet. Last but not least, is the one costume that had me nerding out harder than a Whovian at Gallifrey One. And that costume was that of the legendary space bounty hunter, Samus Aran. With this costume, Bayonetta’s handgun becomes Samus’s arm can and whenever you fire it, it makes the same sounds from Super Metroid. Whenever you jump, Bayonetta does the screw attack and it makes the same nose from Super Metroid. When you sprint, Bayonetta turns into the morph ball and when you jump in morph ball form, you drop a bomb that sounds like it’s Super Metroid counterpart. I can seriously go on and on about the game and the Samus costume, but I won’t. And at least now you can probably understand why Bayonetta 2 is my favorite game of the year. Also, I really wanted to annoy Andrew and Anthony, but that’s neither here nor there.
And that’s my list ladies and gentlemen! What were your favorite games this year? How do you feel about my list? Let me know in comments below or through twitter!